The danger of a forgetful mind. The power of remembrance.
I typed 'Pakistan floods' into Google for the latest news on what has been described as one of the worst natural disasters in decades to help me write this blog. Yet it surprised me not that the 'latest' news items dated back to early August. It is now October. UN Reports in August asserted that a massive 20 million people had been affected, where this number is now, two months later remains an uncertain speculation floating subconsciously in our minds.
The plight of the Pakistani flood victims has been wiped from our TV screens, newspapers, radio broadcasts and worse still; our minds. How ironic given it has been asserted that the number of people suffering as a result of the floods tops the numbers of the 2004 tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Combined. But how many people can be expected to know that amidst the prevailing media silence towards the forgotten cries of Pakistan?
It is no secret that the international response to Pakistan's plight has been fraught with delays and political tensions in its failure to provide the 'unprecedented assistance' that UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon demanded necessary for these 'unprecedented floods'. But the question remains what fuels the impotence behind the lack of action for the victims of the Pakistan floods? This can be answered by a recent occasion where my fairly reserved, somewhat timid yet internally passionate sister returned home from a day's work at Deutsche Bank, angry at an incident with a colleague she described as 'unreservedly ignorant'. On the topic of the Pakistan floods the colleague had commented; "I found it really hard to give to Pakistan. It took me a long time to donate to the flood victims." Taken aback, my sister questioned this and was met with a response which seems indicative of a wider global mindset; "the Taliban". Giving to Pakistan has been plagued with suspicions of a corrupt government and more so fears about assisting a country appearing to be a haven for terrorism; especially in light of Cameron's ingenious comments asserting Islamabad promotes the export of terrorism. Whilst victims; children, mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, siblings and the elderly alike are fighting for survival, we sit here fed, clothed, sheltered and content, questioning if we should give. It is here that the line between politics and humanity has become blurred. Whilst educated, supposedly socially aware individuals are succumbing to the political controversies of this humanitarian disaster, the cries of Pakistan continue to be forgotten.
Back in August, Restless Beings raised over £2000 for the DEC Pakistan appeal. We were restless. We are restless. Restless about the state of the world and the Pakistan plight. The power vested in people to campaign for change and make difference was prevalent that night. But our message of restlessness pervades beyond one night. It is a restlessness which demands a continuing unity and passion, powerful enough to deliver the long lasting change to our world which it so desperately needs. It is about people, individuals, humanitarians and activists who stand up and claim enough is enough.
This is a call for action, a call for change. We at Restless Beings claim enough is enough. The danger is a forgetful mind. The power to effect change is remembrance. Remembrance of the cries of Pakistan. A remembrance of unity, fight and solidarity; where no cries are forgotten.